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Activism, Christianity, Politics

Christian Quotes

Regardless of what “causes” Christians to do things like try to legislate their religion, it’s a real threat.  On this “Good Friday,” I think it’s very important for us to remember just how important it is for us to offer a unified political front against people who would literally force us into Christianity.

I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view. — Mike Huckabee

People like Huckabee have already had success in other parts of the country.

No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this state, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court.

That’s the 19th amendment to the Arkansas state constitution. Here’s article 37 in Maryland’s declaration of rights:

Article 37
“That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God;”

It’s relatively well known that these discriminatory pieces of legislation exist.  And most people are quick to point out that the U.S. Constitution also guarantees that when a state constitution disagrees with the U.S. constitution, the U.S. wins.  So nothing to worry about, right?

Well, yes.  Unless the U.S. constitution changes.  Don’t think that’s likely?  Don’t you remember that there was serious talk on the mainstream media about adding a constitutional amendment to discriminate against gays?  In 2004, the President of the United States expressed support for the amendment.  In 2005, it came to light that the Bush administration had paid journalists to promote and advocate the amendment.

This particular amendment may or may not pass in future administrations, but please, don’t think that the Constitution is holy to Christians, or that they will uphold it if they have the power to change it.  Don’t think that they aren’t actively working towards gaining enough of a majority to change things:

If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin.

The Bible says we are to be salt and light. And salt and light means not just in the church, [but] in government and we have to [have] the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers….we need the faithful and we need to take back this country. It’s time that the churches get involved.  –Kathleen Harris, US Representative (R-FL)

Our freedoms are precious, and they need to be maintained.  As our Christian neighbors celebrate the rising of their petulant, angry, misogynistic, brutal lord and savior this Sunday, please take a few minutes to remind your non-believing friends and family how important it is for us to be involved in our own political future.  There are lots of things that can happen, and trust me — becoming a Christian nation in reality?  Not the best option.

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Discussion

7 thoughts on “Christian Quotes

  1. I don’t know much about Yank politics, but it is my understanding that federal law overrides state law.

    So if Georgia wanted to change it’s state consitution to something that went against the federal, they would be unable to do so.

    I think what we need to do is when a Christian raises the issue that the non-Christian [and even the not their demonination Christian] should be persecuted, bring up places like Iran or Saudi Arabia, where Christianity is persecuted and ask them how they would feel if they lived in those nations, where religion cannot be freely practiced.

    Or even better, if they say that religion is required to hold office, then suggest a senate with majority Hindus, where Hinduism is legeslated and non-Hindus are expected to follow Hindu laws.

    Studies have shown that people are less likely to persecute if they can imagine themselves recieving the same treatment.

    It’s no coincedence that Christian immigrants from Iran and Saudi Arabia are vocal supporters for religious rights.

    Posted by Alison | April 1, 2010, 6:45 pm
  2. The way it works is this, Alison. The states can pretty much put whatever they want in their constitution. It’s kind of a bizarre distinction, but the way things are interpreted now, the Constitution doesn’t prevent Arkansas from writing the amendment to the constitution. It says that such amendments are unconstitutional.

    So when an unconstitutional amendment gets written into a constitution, it effectively becomes state law unless and until it is challenged by a lawsuit. As you know, these things can take years, and they’re often derailed by technicalities and political maneuvering. So in effect, states get to practice things that are unconstitutional.

    There was a recent example of this:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2009/dec/20/nation/la-na-hometown-asheville20-2009dec20

    As you can see in the article, the Supreme Court has already ruled that this kind of practice is unconstitutional in other states like Maryland, but until and unless this specific amendment is brought before the Supreme Court, they are effectively able to practice it… or at least make a really big deal out of trying to practice it.

    Now, to be fair, with something like the religious test, if a state tried to pass such an amendment today, it would make a lot of news, and would likely get shot down before it got out of the starting gate. There are just too many precedents against it already. However, if a state managed to somehow slip a quiet little phrase or two into a giant amendment, it wouldn’t be “illegal” for them to do so. Until someone discovered it, used it in a way that pissed someone off, and the whole thing got taken to court, iit would legitimately be part of the state constitution.

    I agree that many thoughtful Christians understand the idea that religious freedom is important to them, too, but the point of this entry is that there is a significant portion of the far right who do NOT believe that this argument holds any water. They WANT to persecute people who are not like them, and they know perfectly well that Iran and Saudi Arabia do the same things.

    Unfortunately, in the current social climate, it’s just not possible to do a personal intervention on people like Pat Robertson or Mike Huckabee. It’s also important to realize that the political leaders of these movements aren’t just uneducated simpletons who’ve never met an atheist. Many of them are politically savvy, and are using the prejudices of the far right to further their own ends. They’re not genuine, sincere Christians practicing their beliefs. They’re aspiring despots. In short, they’re very dangerous people, and need to be opposed politically at the same time that we’re trying to win the hearts and minds of the sincere faithful in our own neighborhoods.

    Posted by hambydammit | April 1, 2010, 7:28 pm
  3. I think what we need to do is when a Christian raises the issue that the non-Christian [and even the not their demonination Christian] should be persecuted, bring up places like Iran or Saudi Arabia, where Christianity is persecuted and ask them how they would feel if they lived in those nations, where religion cannot be freely practiced.

    I think you’re insane.

    You expect to negotiate with the likes of Mr. Robertson? The same Mr. Robertson who owned a diamond mine in Zaire in partnership with Mobutu Sese Seko, and who used Tutsis as donation bait so that he could steal millions of dollars from his viewers to fly heavy machinery into said diamond mine?

    You expect to negotiate with, say, the Christian militias that believe in a NWO conspiracy and are busy arming themselves for a Beer Hall Putsch against the American state?

    I spoke with Anne Coulter when she came to Calgary; these people are beyond the ability to bend with words. She happily related to a cheering crowd, upon my prompting, that evolutionary biology was a lie, that the Intelligent Design movement had been founded by Francis Crick and that there has been a communist hijacking of the scientific community & educational establishment. The roar of approval for this message from her supporters was something to behold.

    Studies have shown that people are less likely to persecute if they can imagine themselves recieving the same treatment.

    To hear the rhetoric of Coulter, Robertson, Palin, Beck, the late Mr. Falwell, etc, these people believe that they are in circumstances of persecution, and yet they aren’t conforming to your hypothesis. Neither did the Nazis, nor did the Hutus, nor does Al Qaeda, nor does Hamas nor Hezbollah; the willingness to enter into debate or make concessions is only seen as a point of weakness to be exploited by fascists, never as an opportunity to settle grievances without violence.

    Posted by Kevin R Brown | April 1, 2010, 11:39 pm
  4. Kevin, you’ve raised some very good examples of Christian leaders who are either:
    (1) So incredibly deluded that they really do believe their insanity
    (2) So incredibly self-serving that a warm fuzzy encounter with an atheist wouldn’t be a blip on their radar.

    The point is well made. There is a distinct difference between political Christianity and personal Christianity, and the only thing that makes any sense to me is to fight political Christianity politically. Sure, we can try to bend the opinions of the Christians around us while we’re doing it, but once a person has figured out how to make millions on religion, we’re not talking about the same thing anymore.

    Posted by hambydammit | April 1, 2010, 11:58 pm
  5. The point is well made. There is a distinct difference between political Christianity and personal Christianity, and the only thing that makes any sense to me is to fight political Christianity politically. Sure, we can try to bend the opinions of the Christians around us while we’re doing it, but once a person has figured out how to make millions on religion, we’re not talking about the same thing anymore.

    …Well, I’m not sure if this is something that quarrels with your statement or not, but the experience with Ms Coulter altered my mind on this matter considerably; I used to think in terms of the real danger coming from, as you said, the central figureheads of any particular fascist movement. But it wasn’t actually Ms Coulter herself who scared me during the evening – it was her enormous crowd of supporters. They didn’t have any kind of fiscal rewards to reap or political careers to advance: they were simply so mired in their ideology & religion that they’ll blindly follow their chosen saviors over whatever cliff.

    These weren’t all inbred hicks, either; most of them had read Coulter’s books from cover to cover, and could cite passages from the works from memory – I don’t find Coulter to be a particularly good writer, independently of her venom (I don’t like Chomsky’s framing of the world, but nobody could deny that he’s an excellent writer), but her books are pretty hefty tomes in their own right.

    Posted by Kevin R Brown | April 2, 2010, 12:20 am
  6. Kevin, while you may not be able to sway Coulter or Robertson but we can damn well get their supporters. If we can get them to actually revoke their support of Coulter et el,

    There are several things that determine whether we will adopt a certian view: personality traits, and enviromental traits.

    We can’t do anything about the personality, but we can do our best to alter the enviromental influences.

    On a side note, Kevin I’m getting the impression that you seem to think that I somehow think that negitation is the best and only way to do something and not avoid physical conflict. Like there shouldn’t have been military action against Afghanistan or Iraq, or that the FBI shouldn’t have arrested the NWO terrorists.

    This is not the case. I regonize that military force is required sometimes seeing as Ba’ath or Talibian weren’t rushing to the negogiating table.

    I regonize the limits of negegoiation and my point is that we should only use force when neccesary.

    Posted by Alison | April 2, 2010, 2:47 am
  7. I lean toward agreeing with Allison that IF (capital IF) we can get to the followers and get them to see themselves in Iraq we would have a slim chance of getting them to see the HATE spewed from Coulter, Beck et al.

    Big IF.

    Politically or financially induced zealots have a circus level skill to whip up the frenzy of a crowd. They pray for pack mentality and prey on the weakened individual. Rationale will be difficult to break through the armor of frenzied community spirit united under gawd. The frenzied pack will continue to exist and be involved in political decisions and financial backing thereof. I agree with Hamby that they are dangerous – that they have to power in numbers and in dollars to win even if – especially if – we think they are silly.

    We cannot underestimate them. When they sneak in little tidbits into state constitutions they can use them like kindling for a bonfire down the road. EACH and EVERY single word carries weight in the law. Down the road, once the original writers of the law are out of office, only those words will be left – and they will be left to interpretation. We had better hope the interpretors will be rational AND in line with religious freedom for ALL.

    Posted by PaigeB | April 3, 2010, 3:14 am

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